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What are the highest protein foods?

What are protein foods?

As we know, a correct intake of protein foods, in addition to being the basis of a healthy and balanced diet, can play a key role both for those who want to lose weight and for those who practice sports. There are many athletes and non-athletes who try to increase their protein intake to increase lean mass (we have already talked about it in this article) and try to understand which are the best foods that contain proteins. So let’s see which foods are richest in proteins and those most recommended for a correct protein diet.

We can divide protein foods into 8 large groups:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Legumes
  • Cereals
  • Seeds and nuts (e.g. walnuts, cereals, peanuts, almonds)
  • Soya

However, not all protein foods are the same, in fact they can be of both vegetal and animal origin (even in their derivatives such as dairy products, eggs etc.)

In fact, there are substantial differences between the two groups, at the basis of a different protein quality between them. But let’s analyze them in more detail.

Vegetable Proteins

Vegetable proteins are found in foods of plant origin such as legumes, cereals, seeds and fruit. Unlike foods of animal origin, however, foods of plant origin do not individually have all twenty-two essential amino acids, consequently plant proteins are defined as incomplete, even if with a correct combination of plant foods it is possible to make up for this lack and provide the your body the complete protein dose. It is no coincidence that it is not uncommon even in sport to find athletes who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet .

Let’s see the protein values per 100 g of some plant-based foods:

  • Pine nuts 31.9
  • Roasted peanuts 29
  • Beans 27.2
  • Beans 23.6
  • Lentils 22.7
  • Almonds 22
  • Peas 21.7
  • Chickpeas 20.9
  • Spelt 15.1
  • Walnuts 14.3

Animal Proteins

Animal proteins are found in foods of animal origin such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, dairy products. Unlike vegetable proteins, animal proteins are defined as complete because they contain all the essential amino acids. They also have a high protein content inside them. Below is the protein value per 100 g of some products of animal origin:

  • Veal fillet 38.6
  • Parmesan 33.5
  • Bresaola 32
  • Chicken breast 30.2
  • Sea bream 20.7
  • Mozzarella 18.7
  • Shrimps 13.6
  • Eggs 12.4
  • Whole milk 3.3

Proteins in sport

As we have said, correct protein intake is the basis of a healthy and balanced diet. There are cases in which the daily protein requirement increases, as in the case of those who engage in sporting activity. In this case you can use protein products that act as supplements such as protein powder or protein bars. This allows you to reach the recommended protein requirement with the advantage of:

  • greater ease of preparation
  • assimilation and conservation
  • better digestibility
  • limit the intake of cholesterol and saturated fats present in foods of animal origin
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